My new Excalibur dehydrator rocks my socks off. Today I made turkey jerkey. It took just four hours, and it’s absolutely incredible.
I never knew that jerkey was made from ground meat. When I went searching online and found something that said you make beef jerkey with ground beef, I thought “Yeah right! This guy must be an idiot.” But apparently, I am the idiot So I took some Jennie-O lean ground turkey breast that I have had in my freezer for a while, I dumped it in a bowl, and I started adding spices. I didn’t have any “jerkey cure” or special jerkey spices. No liquid smoke either. Plus I just wanted to make it as natural as possible. I figured this was my first experience with the dehydrator so I would use it as a learning experience for next time.
20 oz ground lean turkey breast
I would guess that I probably added a tablespoon and a half of each of the spices… but I wasn’t measuring. Just kind of sprinkling and dumping Then I rolled the turkey out into a flat sheet, cut it into strips, and laid them on the Excalibur trays:
I tend to like my jerkey a little thicker and chewier, rather than thinner and more brittle/crisp. So I tried to make mine the maximum thickness that the Excalibur allows, which is about 1/4 inch.
Then into the dehydrator they went. Very soon, my kitchen was smelling heavenly. Just four short hours later…
It was done.
I took a bite and couldn’t believe how good, and how easy, it was. I even made S try it when he got home from work. He had never ever tried any kind of jerkey before, so was very apprehensive. But he said it was delicious!
Two thumbs up for my Excalibur. I bought some kiwis, and still have the bananas S brought me from work, to make. But those take longer to dry so I have to schedule it a little more carefully since my dehydrator doesn’t have a timer Probably either tomorrow night or monday during work!
So besides eating 3/4 of the turkey jerkey throughout the day, I had some other good eats. Breakfast was, finally, pumpkin oats!
I picked up some pumpkin at the store the other day and made this with:
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/3 cup pumpkin
spoonful of almond butter
sprinkle pumpkin seeds
Mid-morning, I had a snack of a golden delicious apple.
Before lunch, S and I made plans for a date night! We decided to do dinner and a movie, which we have never done. As we were talking and I realized that we had never done dinner and a movie, I was shocked. I realized that we have never had a real date. When I said that to him and asked him why, he told me that it wasn’t his fault – in Switzerland, they don’t do the typical dating scene like they do here in the US. Quite honestly, I thought that he was feeding me some BS to defend the fact that he has never taken me out on a proper date. After all, if they don’t “date”, how do they meet people and form relationships?
So I started looking. And I found that… he was actually telling the truth. The first site I found had a lot of comparisons between Europeans and Americans in pretty much all different areas. It said:
In fact, even the way of dating tends to follow so well-defined rules in the USA. For instance, there are widely followed conventions about sleeping on the 3rd date. Men know they shouldn’t expect to see a woman again if she insists to split the bill (”check” in AmE) at the end of their first date. The way of proposing, or buying an expensive ring are more important for Americans too. In Europe, the way of doing things is more informal and spontaneous, and can varies a lot from one region to another, and even on a person to person basis. Sometimes, that makes Europeans envious of how easy and clear things look in the USA in comparison. The drawback is that it seems too stereotypical, especially if you don’t like the conventions.
And S is pretty much the definition of someone who “doesn’t like the conventions”. Humph.
The second site I found was even more interesting. It said:
Often one doesn’t meet one’s soon to be in-laws until the wedding day (which can be quite a shock when you realise your new mother in law is 600 pounds but looked just like your lovely bride at 20). Many Swiss couples I know would never even consider marriage and just decide to shack up together to save rent money. In America, moving in with your boy/girlfriend makes everyone assume you will be getting engaged soon.
Dating tends to follow well-defined rules in the USA. For instance, there are widely followed conventions about having sex with someone on the 3rd date. If you hop between the sheets on a first or second date in America, you can be fairly certain you both won’t be visiting Tiffanys anytime soon (unless you get knocked up by accident and he feels guilty enough to buy a silver baby rattle). Courting a woman until marriage and buying an expensive engagement ring are traditional acts of romance for Americans. In Switzerland, love and marriage are much more informal and spontaneous.
Humph again. I guess on one hand, I have already met S’s parents (and grandparents, and aunts and uncles and pretty much every member of his extended family). And they are all pretty terrific. So I don’t have to worry about that one. On the other hand, we have moved in together. And basically… it sounds like I (as an American, of course) would expect that this means that we are “on the way” to getting engaged. I’m not saying that I think we will get married tomorrow, or in a year, or anything like that. I’m just saying that it does make me have some expectations. He, however, has no such expectations. I knew that about him before we actually moved in together, but I didn’t realize that it was a European mentality. I thought it was just an S mentality.
Anyhow, back to our planned date night. I was even more excited for dinner and a movie, knowing that S didn’t ordinarily do it and it was special. We were even going to get sushi – my favorite – which we have never done before either. We had it all planned out before my turkey salad at lunch time.
I was so excited that I thought I would buy a new outfit for the date. I went and got a nice sweater, a pair of black leggings, and a nice pair of knee-high boots which I have been wanting. I couldn’t wait.
While I was out, I also bought a snack that I couldn’t resist – a pumpkin shaped, chocolate-covered rice krispy treat!
I can’t resist a pretty rice krispy treat.
Check out that marshmallowy and chocolatey goodness. Mmmmmmm!
So then I did a quick gym trip – 30 min on the stepmill. I have been feeling really tired this week – I’m not sure exactly why. It might be still a little bit of trip hangover, plus the fact that I have been getting up pretty early every day this week so far for early meetings, etc.
Then I took a shower and started to get ready. I got my hurr did, put on pretty makeup and my new clothes. I was sitting on the couch, waiting for S to come home… when the phone rang. It was him. I knew right away that was not a good sign – the only time he calls me at the end of the work day is if he is going to be late. It was a little after 6 o clock when he called, and… you know it… he had taken the train in that morning, and the train was delayed due to an accident in Palo Alto. Estimated up time – anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours.
I got comfortable and waited for a status update. A couple hours later he texted me saying that the train was going again. So he would be home in an hour and a half. But due to the delay, there was no way we would have time to go out for dinner before the movie. So I had to cook dinner to be ready when he got home, like usual, and my date night went bye-bye.
I made pasta for S and shirataki pasta for myself, with tomato sauce, mushrooms, edamame, parmesan cheese, shrimp and a laughing cow cheese wedge.
And dessert was a bowl of pumpkin ice cream, woo hoo!
We did go to the movie, though, and that was fun. We saw “ Couples Retreat ” – a cute comedy that made for a good date movie. Afterwards, we came home and had a relaxing beer on the couch. Now, it is almost 3 am and I am hitting the sack. G’night, ya’ll!